I’ve been struggling, like many of you, to know what part to play in everything that’s going on right now. I can’t fathom the fear of being pulled over, profiled in my neighborhood, or fearing for my son’s life.
However, we’ve recently had a small glimpse of what’s been happening for years. We’re hearing from our friends and family about things that should’ve never been allowed to happen. And although we can’t relate, we should be outraged. As long as our outrage on Facebook matches our everyday actions.
The truth is, we can’t be quiet any longer about racial injustice. We can’t allow bigotry and hate to drive violence. But, let’s be careful not to turn this into empty words with no action. If you’re posting on Facebook but still hoping your daughter never brings home a black man, don’t post. If you’re marching downtown but only doing it for a good selfie, stay home.
I have no idea how my friends raising black children must feel right now. Truly I don’t. My heart is absolutely breaking for them. But, I do know what’s it like to raise white kids. If you’re a mom raising white children you have an immense responsibility. I will be the first to admit, our small circle is not very diverse. So that means my children will learn about different races and religions from us and the people we do life with. Choose wisely. I’ve heard people say racist things my entire life, and I’ve made racist comments before. And for not speaking up, or shutting up, I’m sorry.
The day Addison figured out she was white, she was in the back of my car and in 1st grade. It was a very innocent moment and one I will never forget. She had never understood that people were referring to skin color when they said white, black, brown, etc. However, from that day forward her ideals and values started slowly being shaped. They are still being shaped by her surroundings and friend groups, but primarily by me and J.O.
Parents, make sure you’re not telling your kids that God loves everyone, but hiding your valuables when your son’s best friend comes over and he’s black. Parents, make sure you aren’t telling your kids that Jesus would condone racism, but then questioning why whites don’t get a white history month. Or saying things like, “well, we don’t know the real story.” Parents, make sure you aren’t telling your kids that Jesus hates injustice, but then using terms like thugs which has a negative racial undertone. Don’t believe me on that one? If you’re ever tempted to use it, think about who you’re referring to. If you’re saying thugs and meaning upper/middle class white kids, I stand corrected.
I can tell my kids one thing all day long, but the way I really act is what they will pick up on. Maybe one of the most important things for white people to do right now is ask God to reveal our own hidden predjudices and racism? Maybe you’re worried about what your friends will think if your child dates a black guy or girl? Ask God to call that out. Maybe you inadvertently clutch your purse tighter when a black man walks by. Ask God to reveal that. And then turn away. Repent. And do better.
March. Post. Speak up. But make sure you take that behavior home. Especially if you’re raising a house full of privileged white kids like me.